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how to get same rank after migrating servers

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    how to get same rank after migrating servers

    Hi All,

    We are transferring one of our customer's hosting from old to a new hosting provider. The current problems are:

    1. the directory structure on both the servers are different i.e. the new host has a different directory structure, so my client is afraid of losing google rank due to change in url
    2. how can we get the same ranking even after transferring the server. The current rank of my client is 9 on the first page when we search with a specific keyword.

    Thanks in advance,
    [email protected]

    Re: how to get same rank after migrating servers

    .htaccess 301 redirect rules.

    I would install the new site with the new directories on the new server. Then I would create a development site with the old diretories and new rewrite rule on the old server (don't mess with the production site) and test each link thouroughly. Use existing analytics reports to make sure you have not missed any links. Once you have confirmed the ALL redirect rules are working. Copy new .htaccess rules from old development site to new.

    If your clients site is sales related, I would postpone any migration and/or significant code changes until after the holidays.
    Thank you, Bill Davis


      Re: how to get same rank after migrating servers

      Are you referring to the "directory structure" as far as where the public html directory is located on the server, or have you actually rearranged your files on the web site itself? Search engines known nothing about server configurations and where the public html directories are - as long as the actual web accessible URLs aren't changing, the question #1 you have is totally irrelevant.

      #2 - this should really not change when you change hosts. In *some* cases people are reporting the rank drops down by 1 or 2, but it goes back to original rank within 2-4 weeks when the search engine realizes you haven't really changed anything, other than your hosting company, and are not actually "going out of business" or something :-)


        Re: how to get same rank after migrating servers

        You can rename the mm5 directory to Merchant2 if you're doing a mm4 > mm5 migration. Assuming both stores aren't in the same directory, of course.

        Your host should be able to help you write any additional redirects. A common one is redirecting .mv to .mvc, for instance.
        Steve Strickland


          Re: how to get same rank after migrating servers

          This is a hard one, specially if you're not that familiar with the .htaccess stuffs.

          But think of it this way, if you got the PR in the first place, then you can get it back again.. this time in your new site.

          I'm actually having a similar problem... transferring my traffic from my free blog to my own domain...


            Re: how to get same rank after migrating servers

            Hi Miva expert,

            I haven't thought about this question yet. I am still in the process of developing my new site (with Miva 5 of course). The question I have is what if my old site uses a different cart with a different technologies? All links on the site will be different dramatically. Any recommendation?


              Re: how to get same rank after migrating servers

              Same advice.

              Use 301 redirect/rewrite rules.

              If a search engine bot follows an old link into your site, the 301 redirect rule will tell it to update it's index with the new url. Thus you won't lose rank for those links/pages on your site AND the search engine will be cleaned up.

              However those old links incoming to your site will lurk for years out there... so.. you need to keep those 301's in place.

              I've done site updates both ways. I had a site that I just simply put up the new code. Wow, that was a bad decision. I dropped from the first two pages of google for my keywords to something like the 80th page of google results. It really sucked.
              The next time I was a lot more careful. I was able to do the permanent redirects and not even get a blip out of my google ranking results.

              I throughly mapped out my old links to my new links. It took me about 8 weeks to make sure I had it working very smoothly and caught about 98% of the old urls that were inbound to my site. I also had over 16,000 urls to deal with. And because the site had gone through several incarnation there were multiple links to the same content. I was able to clean all that up.

              If you have access to the server logs for your website, you can see patterns in the old urls and then do rewrites that will transform them into the new urls.

              It isn't rocket science, but it is tedious and you do need to catch the majority of your old urls. But, if you don't, you will suffer a drop in ranking.

              If you are on an Apache based webserver it's very straight forward. And most hosts will give you access to .htaccess files so you can insert the rules.

              google for htaccess rewrite rules 301 replace links
              Also there is a lot of good advice on webmasterworld forums. Especially look for a poster over there named JDMORGAN. He really is a guru of this stuff.